Dr. Bessie Delaney Scholarship

Bessie Delaney

The Dr. Bessie Delaney Scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Annie Elizabeth “Bessie” Delaney, (September 3, 1891 – September 25, 1995). Dr. Bessie Delaney earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) dental degree in 1923 from Columbia University. The only Black female in her class, she was the second Black woman licensed to practice dentistry in New York State. Dr. Delaney treated many of Harlem’s poor, and in 27 years of practice never raised her fees.


Widely known throughout the community as “Dr. Bessie,” she treated the rich and poor equally, and performed thousands of free children’s dental exams. During the depression, she continued providing care for those who could not afford to pay. She was active in civil rights and participated in many protests and marches, and encouraged civil rights organizers to meet at her dental office. She believed in equality for all people and openly defied the segregation laws of the time.


She became famous at the age of 101, with the publication of the book, “Having Our Say” by Amy Hill Hearth. In 1994, Columbia’s School of Dental and Oral Surgery awarded her its Distinguished Alumna Award for “her pioneering work as a minority woman in dentistry.”

Dr. Bessie E. Delaney Scholarship Post-Doctoral Award (Female Applicants Only) $10,000

Eligibility Requirements

1. Must be post-doctoral, pursuing additional degree in a sub-specialty of dentistry in one of our priority areas such as: public health, administration, pediatrics, research, law, etc. (A Masters degree beyond residency training will be considered)

2. Must be a United States Citizen or have permanent resident status

3. Must be an NDA member


Completed application package is due by May 15 and sent to the following address:

Include in application package:


  • 1. Letter of request for consideration
  • 2. Curriculum vitae
  • 3. Description of the program you are entering
  • 4. A letter of nomination from your Program Director
  • 5. The total cost of graduate program
  • 6. The stipend amount you will receive, if any
  • 7. Two (2) letters of recommendation


National Dental Association Foundation
ATTN: Dr. Brandon A. Gordon
7129 Maplelawn Drive
Ypsilanti, MI 48197